Background: The Covid pandemic brought the need for more realistic remote consultations into focus. 2D telemedicine solutions fail to replicate the fluency or authenticity of in-person consultations. This research reports on an international collaboration on the participatory development and first validated clinical use of a novel, real-time 360-degree 3D Telemedicine system worldwide. Development of the system – leveraging Microsoft’s HoloportationTM communication technology – commenced at Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit, Glasgow in March 2020. Methods: Research followed VR CORE guidelines on development of Digital Health trials, placing patients at the heart of the development process. This consisted of three separate studies – a clinician feedback study (23 clinicians, Nov-Dec 2020), a patient feedback study (26 patients, Jul-Oct 2021), and a cohort study focusing on safety and reliability (40 patients, Oct 2021 – Mar 2022). “Lose, Keep and Change” feedback prompts were used to engage patients in the development process and guide incremental improvements. Results: Participatory testing demonstrated improved patient metrics with 3D in comparison to 2D Telemedicine, including validated measures of satisfaction (p<0.0001), realism or ‘presence’ (Single Item Presence scale, p<0.0001), and quality (Telehealth Usability Questionnaire, p=0.0002). Safety and clinical concordance (95%) of 3D Telemedicine with a face-to-face consultation were equivalent or exceeded estimates for 2D Telemedicine. Conclusions: One of the ultimate goals of telemedicine is for the quality of remote consultations to get closer to the experience of face-to-face consultations. These data provide the first evidence that HoloportationTM communication technology brings 3D telemedicine closer to this goal than a 2D equivalent.

Fuente: Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery
Available online 13 October 2022
In Press, Journal Pre-proof